Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bears versus Falcons: Receivers, Rushers, and Quarterbacks

Both the Falcons and the Bears have excellent receiving and rushing corps, and talented quarterbacks. Here's a look at some stats as they head into Sunday's match in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome. 

Falcon wide receiver Julio Jones is 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds.  He has 40 receptions this year for 552 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Receiver Roddy White has 16 receptions for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Tight end Levine Toilolo is 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds has 8 receptions for 69 yards and 1 touchdown.  Former Bears star, Devin Hester, has 14 receptions for 212 yards and 1 touchdown.  Quarterback Matt Ryan has completed 130 passes on 197 attempts for a 66% completion rate with 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. His QB rating is 96.4. Ryan has 9 rushes for 47 yards and no touchdowns.  Running back Steven Jackson has 63 rushes for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns plus 9 receptions for 57 yards.  Rookie Devonta Freeman has 19 rushes for 73 yards and 12 receptions for 103 yards.  Jacquizz Rodgers has 19 rushes for 75 yards and 1 touchdown and 7 receptions for 44 yards.  Running back Antone Smith has 11 rushes for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns and also has 6 receptions for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. The bottom line for the Falcons is that they have a lot of offensive talent in the skill positions and they need to involve a lot of players. 

Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall is 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds. He has 19 receptions for 188 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Receiver Alshon Jeffery, at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, has 26 receptions for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Martellus Bennett, the Bears tight end, is 6-foot-7 and 248 pounds.  Bennett has 32 receptions for 312 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Both Marshall and Jeffrey have been hobbled.  Jay Cutler has completed 130 passes on 191 attempts for a 68.1 completion rate with 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. His QB rating is 94.9. Cutler has 16 rushes for 90 yards and 1 touchdown.  Bears running back Matt Forte has 82 rushes for 319 yards and 1 touchdown.  Rookie running back Ka'Deem Carey has 18 rushes for 78 yards.

The Bears are often mentioned as the one of the top receiving teams in the NFL, but injuries have slowed their performance although not markedly.  Like a number of other teams, the Bears have struggled with the idea of keeping a fullback because they often struggle on runs in the red zone.  Short passes to Martellus Bennett has been a good option close in.

Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships.